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How to easily make your own beeswax candles

I LOVE Christmas, it´s one of my favourite times of the year! Specially as you get to make a lot of things yourself, like decorations, ornaments, cookies… And then the evenings with candles lit all around you and a fire in the colder countries. That´s why I decided to show you today how to easily make beeswax candles yourself 🙂

But, before we get into making some, let me explain to you why you should use beeswax candles instead of paraffin ones.

Learn how to easily make your own beeswax candles and why you should use them instead of paraffin ones! Eco-friendly, healthier easy DIY

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything using them, I may receive a small commission at NO extra cost to you. I only provide links to products of which I think they are useful to you and I try to link to eco-friendly products at the same time. For more information please read my disclosure & privacy policy.

The reason you should choose beeswax candles over their paraffin rivals

Beeswax candles are made by, you guessed it, bees. Bees work to make the honey for the wax. It is all natural. Beeswax candles have many advantages over paraffin candles.

Paraffin is the wax that comprises most of the candles on the market. It is made from vegetable, animal, and petroleum wastes. You’d never know it looking at the candles, but this is what is in them. Most people don’t read the labels on candles anyway.

When you burn these substances, toxic substances have the potential to be given off in the flame. Have you ever seen black smoke coming from a candle flame? It occurs when the candle is getting close to being burned out because there is no more wax to burn. These are the chemicals being released into the air.

Decorative candles of this type do not burn clean. When the wax re-hardens you will see the black residue in the wax. The wax creates a pitting phenomenon in the center of the candle and the wax also drips down the side and ruins the look of the candle.

A little known fact is that the wicks in the center of the candles contain lead. The metal button that holds the wick can also be dangerous. When burning the wick, the lead can be released into the air as well. As we burn candles, we are polluting the air around us. People with respiratory problems shouldn’t burn paraffin candles.

Advantages of beeswax candles

On the other hand, beeswax candles are available. But, they cost more, so many people think: why buy them when there are cheaper better smelling candles on the market?

Beeswax candles are environmentally safe, they burn clean. That means no pollutants are released into the air. The air is actually cleaner because what is given off by the beeswax works to eliminate odors and other pollutants from the air.

If you like the way that your candles look, beeswax candles do not do any pitting when the wax is burned. In fact, the wax burns out towards the end of the candle and doesn’t drip over. It continues to burn until there is nothing left.

Beeswax candles are not scented artificially and give off a smell of sweet honey which I love. The colour of the candle is the natural colour of the wax.

Beeswax candles burn longer than paraffin wax candles. For your money you will get over 100 hours of candle burning pleasure. So, use candles for aromatherapy and setting the mood, but clean the air and freshen your home in the process with beeswax candles.

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Learn how to easily make your own beeswax candles and why you should use them instead of paraffin ones! Eco-friendly, healthier easy DIY

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A bit of candle making history

Candle making has a long tradition in Europe. In the City of London there has been for centuries a society called “The Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers”, created before 1330. Obviously the first candles have been made over 5.000 years ago, being the only alternative to fire to give light at night… The first known dipped candles have been produced by the Romans about 500 BC.

Hanging wicks and dipping them in wax until the candle is the correct consistency was something we did in art class. Get the family together during the holiday season and teach the kids how to make beeswax candles. We used to make candles as Christmas presents for our teachers, grandparents… My favourite one was in a “snail” shape…

Beeswax candles can be made with beeswax sheets. True beeswax candle makers don’t use these sheets but for homemade candles, beeswax sheets are easy and safe for children to use. The wax is pressed into sheets for use in making different shapes of candles. Any wax left after burning can be molded with more beeswax to create new candles to burn.

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Okay, so now we know the why and a bit of history, let´s get into the DIY part!

Learn how to easily make your own beeswax candles and why you should use them instead of paraffin ones! Eco-friendly, healthier easy DIY

How to easily make your own beeswax candles

Before making beeswax candles, prepare by getting all of your supplies together and setting up an area to work. To make these candles you will need:

  • beeswax sheets, I get mine from a local supplier, but if you haven´t got the possibility, you can get them and the wicks here
  • scissors or a knife,
  • candle wicks,
  • a cutting board or other hard surface for cutting.

When purchasing the supplies, check to see that the wicks do not contain any lead or other chemicals.

Beeswax usually comes in a light color which is the color of the wax. Adding colour introduces chemicals into the wax that can be burned off in the flame. You can get beeswax candles in different colours, but they may not burn as clean.

First, watch the children when sharp objects are around. Do any cutting that needs to be done and keep the knife pointed away from the body. Work on the kitchen table so the kids can lean as they work.

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How to easily make your own beeswax candles; Instructions:

Lay out a sheet of beeswax. If using colored wax in combinations cut the sheet and add other colored pieces. Lay them close together so they overlap.

Take the wick and place it near the beginning of the wax sheet. Let an inch or so of the wick hang out of the bottom of the candle and two inches out of the top of the beeswax sheet.

Press the wick gently into the beeswax sheet. The wick needs to be secured so that it will not be displaced during rolling. After the wick is firmly in place, it is time to create the candle.

Slowly, roll the beeswax sheet over itself. Keep the rolls tight so no gaps are present in the wax. Continue rolling until the entire sheet is finished or the candle is as wide as you would like it. Larger candles like pillars have one or three wicks depending on width.

Cut the wick at the bottom even with the bottom of the candle. Trim the wick at the top of the candle until it is about half an inch long.

Create beautiful candles in various sizes and shapes. Kids can use their creations as homemade gifts or to decorate the house for the Christmas holiday.

See, it was extremely easy! And now you know how to easily make your own beeswax candles 🙂

You might also enjoy reading: How to make eco-friendly glitter with your kids, Eco-friendly toys you can buy this Christmas, 10 good reasons to start going green, 25 ways to protect our environment on a budget and  How to teach your kids the importance of green living.

How to make eco-friendly glitter with your kids

There are so many things you can do with glitter. They add sparkle to just about anything and are the inspiration for a lot of craft ideas, specially now for Christmas. However, you don’t need to go out and buy it. You can easily make your own with products you’ll find in your kitchen. This is as well the more eco-friendly way to use glitter. Glitter you buy is very dangerous for our environment, just as microplastic is. Right, but this post is not about how dangerous glitter is for the environment, but about how to make eco-friendly glitter. So, let´s start:

How to make eco-friendly glitter with your kids: this is an easy fun-project you can do with your kids! And: you most likely have all the ingredients at home already. Use your glitter to make Christmas decor, cards etc. But you can make it all year round, not only Christmas :) Chemical free and non-toxic!

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything using them, I may receive a small commission at NO extra cost to you. I only provide links to products of which I think they are useful to you and I try to link to eco-friendly products at the same time. For more information please read my disclosure & privacy policy.

How to make eco-friendly glitter with your kids

To make your own glitter, you will need some salt, food coloring, a baking tray and baking paper. You will also need the oven. You can buy eco-friendly baking paper now, so it´s not a problem to use. If you don´t have a store close by, you can buy it here.

To make your glitter, you will first need to choose the color you want your glitter to be. This is where you get to be creative. You are no longer restricted to what’s on the shelf at the store. You can experiment with the food coloring to create your own unique colors. Just play with the colors until you create one that you like. We chose green this time, because it is for some Christmas decorations we are going to make. More about this you will be able to read in my next post.

How to make eco-friendly glitter with your kids - finished; top view

If you don’t have any food coloring available you can use water-color paints instead. They will work just as well.

When your food coloring is ready, pour about ½ cup of salt into a bowl. If you don’t have salt in the house, you can use sugar instead. Add your food coloring, about one drop at a time, until it’s just the color you want. Mix it with a spoon. Your salt might start to dissolve, but that’s OK. That will be fixed when you bake the salt in the oven. Keep in mind that the salt will look paler when it is dry, so go a shade darker than you want it to be.

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Cover your baking tray with baking paper. That will keep it from getting stained with your food coloring. Pour the salt out of the bowl onto it. Using your spoon or your hands, spread the salt in a thin, even layer across the sheet.

How to make eco-friendly glitter with your kids - before baking

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees, 190° C. You’re going to bake the salt to get rid of any moisture that was added when you poured in the food coloring. When the oven is ready, put your tray covered with salt into the oven. You need to bake it for about ten minutes.

Wanting to start a greener life, but feeling overwhelmed? Then my E-book “Ease into Green Living” is the right fit for you! Special offer: 30 minute call with me where you can ask me anything you want 🙂

How to make eco-friendly glitter with your kids - after baking

After your salt is baked, take the tray out of the oven and let the glitter cool. Some clumps may have formed while you were baking. To get rid of them, just use a fork to break them up. Store your glitter in a sealable container to avoid it getting moist again.

How to make eco-friendly glitter with your kids - finished

Know you know how to make eco-friendly glitter with your kids! Wasn´t this easy and quick? My son and I certainly enjoyed making it 🙂

How to make eco-friendly glitter with your kids: this is an easy fun-project you can do with your kids! And: you most likely have all the ingredients at home already. Use your glitter to make Christmas decor, cards etc. But you can make it all year round, not only Christmas :) Chemical free and non-toxic!

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I hope you have enjoyed this post. If you know someone, who might be interested in how to make eco-friendly glitter, please share this post with them.

You might also enjoy reading: Salt dough Easter decorations you can also use for making Christmas decorations, Eco-friendly toys to buy this Christmas, How to teach your kids the importance of green living and Make a sign from an old shelf for father´s day.

And don´t miss out on the UNIQUE chance to take part in the LIVE training: “A Quick Start Guide To An Eco-friendly Home Without Overwhelm & Frustration” starting Thursday, the 6th of December! For more info just click on the name 🙂

How to make eco-friendly glitter with your kids: this is an easy fun-project you can do with your kids! And: you most likely have all the ingredients at home already. Use your glitter to make Christmas decor, cards etc. But you can make it all year round, not only Christmas :) Chemical free and non-toxic!

 

 

Make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids

Unbelievable that it´s soon Halloween again! Today I am showing you how to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids.

I don´t know about you, but I love Halloween even though for us it´s an imported holiday! Before the best time of the year used to be carnival. Everyone get´s dressed up, is in a good mood and we kids got tons of sweets. It´s a whole week of fun, normally starting with the women having their day, storming the town halls and taking over the regime. If you ever go to Germany on carnival Thursday as a man: do not wear a good tie, because it will be cut off! Men usually wear either their oldest ties or the ones they got as a present and don´t like at all. 🙂 The same day, we kids went from house to house singing and getting our bags filled with sweets. Then there are the street parades where they throw sweets, flowers for the women and some hand out hot red wine to the adults to warm up…

Then I moved to Spain and carnival here is totally different. Here it´s more like you see it on TV from Rio. It´s warmer, people can show more skin when dressing up and the only ones dancing are the ones taking part in the parade. And no sweets, they throw confetti instead. At least confetti doesn´t hurt when you get it on your head… But here, through a lot of British residents, Halloween get´s celebrated. And when my son started pre-school we got dressed up and joined others to go through the streets…

Back to subject. I didn´t want to write about carnival and Halloween, but how you can make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids!

Make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids

How to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids. It´s always a lot of fun making your own decorations together with your kids. Learn how in this step by step tutorial

* Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything using them, I may receive a small commission at NO extra cost to you. I only provide links to products of which I think they are useful to you and I try to link to eco-friendly products at the same time. For more information please read my disclosure & privacy policy.

What´s needed:

  • A wooden slat (if possible reclaimed), big enough for you to write and decorate;
  • Sandpaper;
  • Wood stain dark; use one that is safe for earth and pets (like this one), I used Teak;
  • Acrylic paint: Black, red, white and green;
  • An old piece of cloth and gloves;
  • A piece of white chalk; optional
  • Artist brushes;
  • A few bits of inlet of an old cushion or cotton wool;
  • Liquid glue or glue gun and glue;
  • 2 screws, if your slat doesn´t have nails in like mine and
  • String or cable.
  • Optional to hang it outside: clear wood sealant.

How to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids – step by step

I found this lovely, but very dirty piece by the bins and decided to take it home. We wanted to make some Halloween decorations for this year anyway, so this was ideal.

Looking at the slat, it had nails in which looked quite nice from the front, so I decided to just hammer them down instead of taking them out. This way, there was no need to put screws in at the back either and I could use the nails to attach the cable.

My piece was extremely dirty, so I had to give it an extremely good rub down. Even if your wood looks much better, still sand it and then clean all the dust off before starting with the next step.

How to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids. It´s always a lot of fun making your own decorations together with your kids. Learn how in this step by step tutorial - wood

I wanted to try something new with this sign, so I got an old cloth, the wood stain and the black acrylic paint out and covered the table with an old bed sheet. Next, I put some of the paint into a big bottle top, dipped the cloth into the stain and then into the paint.

How to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids. It´s always a lot of fun making your own decorations together with your kids. Learn how in this step by step tutorial - painting method

Now apply both with the cloth onto the wood in a circular motion. This way, you get an uneven coat of the colours over the wood you couldn´t achieve with a paint brush, which makes it look much better. Best, If you use a glove while doing this! I don´t like gloves, so I had stains under my fingernails for a few days after… 🙂

How to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids. It´s always a lot of fun making your own decorations together with your kids. Learn how in this step by step tutorial - varnished

One other good side effect of this painting technique is that you don´t have to wait too long until you can continue, so your Halloween sign can be done in a day. Take the piece of chalk and pre-write the word Halloween to see if you are happy with the way it looks.

How to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids. It´s always a lot of fun making your own decorations together with your kids. Learn how in this step by step tutorial - chalk writing

Want to help protect the environment, but don´t know where to start? Download my FREE pdf 15 tips on starting a greener life“!

Then go over the chalk with the red paint. Apply at least 2 to 3 coats. The shaky lines make it look a bit more spooky.

How to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids. It´s always a lot of fun making your own decorations together with your kids. Learn how in this step by step tutorial - writing first coat

The decorating is totally down to your own and your kids imagination. We decided to add red scratch marks, green eyes and black bats. Last add the white lines to make everything stand out more and add a 3D effect.

How to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids. It´s always a lot of fun making your own decorations together with your kids. Learn how in this step by step tutorial - bat

Before we added the smaller details, I took out the inlet of an old cushion that I stored to make a new cushion one day or maybe use for padding furniture. If you don´t have any, just go in the bathroom and get out your cotton wool. I took a few pieces, spread them and then glued them onto the wood. We used normal glue, as this way my son could glue them hisself. Plus, It´s staying inside, so it was not important that it will stick for extremely long. If you have and want to put it outside, better use a hot glue gun.

How to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids. It´s always a lot of fun making your own decorations together with your kids. Learn how in this step by step tutorial - spider web

Staying with this: if you want your sign to be outside, do the above step last! Once you are happy with the painting and the details, then apply a coat of the sealant. Let everything dry and then add the “spider webs”.

You are nearly there! 🙂

The only thing left now is to screw the screws into the back, attach the string and hang it up! Voila: you have just managed to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids.

How to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids. It´s always a lot of fun making your own decorations together with your kids. Learn how in this step by step tutorial - finished

If you have enjoyed reading “Homemade shower gel for super soft and healthy skin” or know someone who might be interested in this subject: Please share this post! Thank you 🙂

How to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids. It´s always a lot of fun making your own decorations together with your kids. Learn how in this step by step tutorial

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You might also be interested in our Boy´s room Minecraft makeover or my DIY mosquito repelling deodorantCoasters made from bottle topsand How to teach your kids the importance of green living.

Boy´s room Minecraft makeover Part I

* Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything using them, I may receive a small commission at NO extra cost to you. I only provide links to products of which I think they are useful to you and I try to link to eco-friendly products at the same time. For more information please read my disclosure & privacy policy.

Boy´s room Minecraft makeover Part 1; In this part I show you how to make your own Creeper lamp and Minecraft shelf

Boy´s room Minecraft makeover Part I

My son LOVES Minecraft and anything to do with it… That´s why we decided to give his room a Minecraft makeover.

It all started when my mum found a picture on Pinterest of a Minecraft crochet blanket. Unfortunately it was one of those that lead to absolutely nothing… One was leading to Google search from where it was leading us back to Pinterest. So my mum, brilliant as she is with anything knitting and crochet, decided to give it a try anyway. She made all the squares needed and laid them out in the order she thought looked best… but her grandson walked in and started to reorder them all straight away :o) Seeing that is was his, it stayed like that, so if you find it looking a bit odd with most red pieces together, blame my son :o)

I will have to get my mum to sit down with me and write down instructions on how to do the blanket… This will be Part II then. Same counts for the TNT cushion and the Enderman. And maybe some more things that we might have added until then. Curtains will be on part 2 as well, but they are not finished yet.

Now in summer I am extremely busy in my day job, so part 2 will most likely come in September. I will try to have it up sooner, if possible.

When my mum finished the blanket and the cushion, we started emptying the bedroom, because we wanted to change the position of the bed as well. For this, I took one of his shelves off as well. I wanted to apply a coat of clear paint to the top as it was terrible to dust… Here the idea was born of us painting the shelf together in a Minecraft theme. My son chose the creeper, the TNT, the diamond blocks and originally wanted a diamond sword and axe, but there wasn´t enough space left, so we changed it to parts of obsidian blocks.

But before we got to paint the shelf, we stumbled over a green light in a charity shop. Me and my mum straight away had the idea to make a creeper lamp!

How to make a creeper lamp yourself

You need:

  • an old lamp, best with a green base. If not, you can easily paint it.
  • green fabric,
  • black felt fabric,
  • needles,
  • hem tape and
  • an iron

Instructions:

Try and find some green fabric as leftover or maybe you have got some at home you can re-use/re-purpose… I get smaller bits of fabric often from the local market. There is one store selling curtain fabrics with a corner of “leftovers”. I think it is a very good idea, specially if you don´t need meters of it.

Wrap the green fabric around the lamp shade to measure how much you need and place the needles so you know where to cut if you have too much. Dont worry, if it overhangs at the bottom.

Now take the ham tape, measure the length you need to fold the top and bottom over, so they look good, and cut it. Next measure the height.

Lay the green cloth out in front of you and cut the squares you need for the creeper from the black felt fabric. Once cut, place them onto the green fabric, cut hem tape for the squares and warm up your iron according to the instructions of the tape. “Glue” the squares on, then do the top and bottom rim before closing the green cloth.

Once closed, all you need to do is pull it over the lamp shade and you got your own creeper lamp!

Pretty easy, wasn´t it? Plus, it looks great!

Next, I explain to you, how my son and I created the shelf for his Minecraft room.

Boy´s room Minecraft makeover Part 1 Creeper lamp

Minecraft shelf

Now, you might have wondered, why we painted the bottom of the shelf and not the top. Painting the bottom seems outright crazy, doesn´t it?

The shelf is hanging pretty high in the bedroom and painting the top, nobody would have seen it. Plus, shelves normally are filled on the top. That´s why we decided to paint the underneath and showcase our work to everyone entering the room.

What you need:

  • Wooden shelf (Maybe you already have one in the room you can use or one stored away?),
  • Acrylic paint (colours depending on motives you choose), here is a set, if you don´t have any at home
  • Flat 3 inch (80 cm) paint brush,
  • Flat artist brush for the squares,
  • Ruler,
  • Soft pencil,
  • Clear sealant (I have linked to a water based eco-friendly, kids safe version here because I think, it is all round the best option)

Instructions

To start off, measure the width and length of your shelf and mark the middle lengthwise with a little dot. Now you can calculate how many squares you can paint onto the shelf. In our case it was 4 full squares and I decided, it would look better to have 2 small bits instead of 1 odd bit. Draw lines to mark your squares, but don´t press too hard with the pencil or the line will show through.

Boy´s room Minecraft makeover Part 1 Minecraft shelf Step 1

Next decide what Minecraft characters and/or blocks you want to paint. It´s up to you, if you want to paint everything yourself or want to get your kid/s involved further than the decision on what to paint. I can only tell you that we had a lot of fun together and the excitement of putting it up was much bigger for both of us.

Want to help protect the environment, but don´t know where to start? Download my FREE pdf “15 tips on starting a greener life“!

First paint the base colour of your squares. We started with 2 coats of the bright blue, white and green. Then we painted the red for the TNT and then the black for the letters, the creeper and the obsidian. Here it´s up to you, if you want the base shining through a bit or if you paint 2 coats. Remember to wait a little before applying a second coat and other colours on top.

Boy´s room Minecraft makeover Part 1 Minecraft shelf Step 2

Our lines are not totally straight and the letters are a bit off-center, but that´s okay. At least you can see that we done it together and I didn´t expect perfection.

Don´t forget to clean out your brushes when starting a new colour.

Last, we painted the dark blue and grey squares, although we started some dark blue squares before, but I recommend you to first finish the black. We didn´t have grey, so I mixed it. Looking at the pictures, I should have used a bit more white as the grey doesn´t really show on them… With the squares, remember that in the game they are not totally even and more shades than we paint. So try to go thicker and thinner with your coats in places. This seems to be easier for a kid than for an adult… ;o)

Once you finished the little squares, let all the paint dry and apply the sealant.

When the sealant is dry, you can put it up and start enjoying it.

Boy´s room Minecraft makeover Part 1 Minecraft shelf finished

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post. Feel free to upload your own Minecraft versions either in the comments or send me a picture by email (tjalva tjalvasdiy.com). I would love to see them!

If you have enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends.

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Interested in getting regular updates on DIY and recycling projects, plus posts on helping to protect our environment? Sign up for my Newsletter and download my FREE pdf 15 tips on starting a greener life.

You might also be interested in: DVD-Shelves made from pallets, Coasters made from bottle tops or my doormat from plastic bags.

Boy´s room Minecraft makeover Part 1; In this part I show you how to make your own Creeper lamp and Minecraft shelf